Judge rules in favor of SF’s ranked-choice voting system

Just in time for election season, a federal judge has ruled that the ranked-choice voting system, which San Francisco has used since 2004, is perfectly legal.

San Francisco’s elections law was challenged earlier this year when Sunset district resident Ron Dudum, who narrowly lost to embattled former Supervisor Ed Jew during the 2006 election for the Board of Supervisors, filed a lawsuit charging that the system’s limitation to three ranked choices violated the U.S. Constitution.

The ruling was issued by U.S. District Court Judge Richard Seeborg on Sept. 9, concluding that while the current voting system does “exert some burden on voting rights, it is not severe.” The complaint alleges that under the system implemented in 2004 thousands of voters during elections are denied the right to vote “once his or her three ranked candidates are eliminated from contention.”

Under the system, voters rank the top three candidates they would most like to see in office. When votes are counted, any candidate who gets more than 50 percent of first-choice votes is the winner. If no one gets that many votes, the candidate who got the fewest first-choice votes is eliminated and the votes of people who ranked that person first then go to their No. 2 choice.

esherbert@sfexaminer.com

Bay Area NewsGovernment & PoliticsPoliticsUnder the Dome

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

BART Ambassadors are being called on to assist riders in social situations that don’t require police force. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
Unarmed BART ambassadors program formalized with a focus on community service

Public safety and police reform are key elements in campaigns of Board members Dufty and Simon

On Oct. 13, people lined up to vote early for the presidential election in Southlake, Texas. <ins>(Shutterstock)</ins>
<ins></ins>
Five things to watch for in the run-up to Nov. 3

Down-ballot races, as much as the presidency, will determine the future course of this nation

WeChat (Shutterstock)
U.S. District Court denies Trump request to shutdown WeChat app

A federal judge in San Francisco denied a request by the U.S.… Continue reading

School board members Gabriela Lopez (left) and Alison Collins (right) say they have been the subject of frequent hateful, racist and sexist attacks during their time on the school board. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F Examiner)
Angered by Lowell decision, SFUSD grad targets school board members with violent imagery

Facebook page depicts two women of color on board with swastikas and x-marks on their faces

Supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer, a former school board member, said it was ‘ridiculous’ that the school district did not yet have a plan to reopen. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
Supervisors demand SFUSD set a timeline for reopening

Pressure grows on district to resume in-person learning as The City’s COVID-19 case count goes down

Most Read